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General Flight Planning
VFR Route Selection
Navigation Flight Log
One of the steps in preflight planning is obtaining the latest NOTAMs and weather reports for the route and destinations you intend to use and fly into. This can be done below, and for those of you flying in hot and or high locations we have included pressure and density altitude calculators to get an idea about these conditions and the performance of your aircraft.
NOTAMs are last minute uptodate AIP/AIS changes and all pilots need to familiarize themselves with them before the flight commences. See to it that you not only get NOTAMs for the departure, destination and diversion airports but also for the airspaces you intend to cross. Every now and then parts of the airspace are being closed due to safety or for other reasons.
METARs and TAFs are current and forecast weather reports. SIGMET and AIRMETs are meteorological significant bulletins important for pilots. It is important to keep in mind that not all airports have meteorological services to generate these or even report to the Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS). Larger regional and international airports usually do. If there is none for your destination you may interpolate data from stations around the area. A phone call to weather services or your destination is also advisable.
Pressure and density altitudes are calculated from current meteorological data and used to obtain the performance numbers for your aircraft in relation to landing, take-off distance required and cruise data. This part of the job of the pilot and is required prior to each flight.
The NOTAMs and METAR/TAFs reports are obtained from the DINS and ADDS offices. Data is live and actual but subject to delays not under any control by us. Both sources can and will be offline every now and then. In that case you will see an error message of some sort appear in the window, just try again later. An alternative is SkyVector, they also have a live METAR and TAF feed visually on the page.
Enter either one ICAO airport ID or a comma separated list of ID's, then select Raw or Report type and press 'View NOTAMs'. The reset button clears the form to its default values.
NOTAMs are written in a form of shorthand, the next link provides you with a guide on how to decode NOTAMs.
To retrieve the weather: just enter any valid airport ICAO ID, make your choice in options and then press the button 'Get METAR/TAF' and the report will be shown in a separate window.
ICAO ID, Enter the ICAO codes for the airports you desire. Raw or Translated, Select one to see the report in raw or human readable format. Next the METARs / TAFs checkbox, both reports can be requested at the same time. The past 4 hours dropbox lets us choose any METAR up to 36 hours in the past.
Now that you have the latest weather, enter the required values below and press 'Calculate' to obtain Pressure Altitude. After that click 'Transfer' to move the values and press 'Calculate' to get Density Altitude. The actual pressure lapse rate and ISA temp at your pressure altitude will be taken into account by the calculators.
These calculators are based on the following formula's and constants:
Pressure Lapse Rate = 96 × ( T in Kelvin) / QNH,
Pressure Altitude = Altitude + (1013 - QNH) × PLR and
Density Altitude = Pressure Altitude + (OAT - ISATpa) × 120
where ISA QNH is 1013 hPa and Celsius to Kelvin differs with 273 °C.
See the next link to find out more about the effects of air density on the performance of your aircraft. This is important if you regularly fly in hot and high conditions, from short fields and or in mountain areas!
Should you want to use the Jeppesen Text Weather service, then the next link will take you there: Jeppesen World Wide Weather. This will open a small window where you even can request PIREPs and temperature/ wind aloft reports, very handy for selecting the most favorable altitude (tail wind) to fly to your destination. Be patient, sometimes it takes awhile before the server responds.
For those of you wishing to look further ahead than a day or two (although, weather reports will become more unreliable), we have detailed forecast weather charts and satellite images from different sources available on our site: the next link will get you to our weather pages. On those pages you will find a overview of global weather and detailed pages with regional weather.